Letters: SNP politicians spell out concerns over ‘gender change’ bill

Shirley-Anne Somerville attempted to heal the division by admitting women's concerns were not 'transphobic'
Shirley-Anne Somerville attempted to heal the division by admitting women's concerns were not 'transphobic'
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We are SNP members who are committed to human rights, equality and dignity for all people. We welcome the recent statement by Cabinet Secretary Shirley Anne Somerville on transgender issues and womens rights.

We particularly welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s view that anyone who wishes to discuss these matters should not be subject to knee jerk accusations of transphobia. We agree with the Cabinet Secretary’s view that it is important that all parliamentarians, and the wider public, can discuss questions of law, policy and practice in relation to definitions of sex and gender in good faith, and without being subject to abuse of any kind.

It has become clear that many people, including policy makers, are only now developing an understanding of the implications of the self identification of sex, particularly on women.

READ MORE: Politicians urge SNP not to rush gender change bill

Conflating sex with gender identification affects a wide range of policy and service delivery including data collection, education, health and social care, justice and sport.

New information about this topic is emerging all the time and deserves to be properly scrutinised. The Cabinet Secretary’s call for a respectful and open debate is therefore appropriate.

We should now have that debate without accusations of intolerance. We respect and uphold everyone’s human rights, particularly the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Changing the definition of male and female is a matter of profound significance. It is not something we should rush.

Joan McAlpine MSP

Kate Forbes MSP

Ash Denham MSP

Ruth Maguire MSP

Ivan McKee MSP

Kenneth Gibson MSP

Carol Monaghan MP

Angus Brendan Macneil MP

Patricia Gibson MP

Joanna Cherry MP

Cllr Chris McEleny

SNP group leader,
Inverclyde Council
Cllr Caroline McAllister
Depute Leader, SNP group,
West Dunbartonshire Council
Cllr Shaun Macaulay
Depute leader,
SNP Group, North Ayrshire 
Council
Cllr Lynne Anderson
North Lanarkshire Council